Additional photos after Testimony
4642 cdd Fresh Revelation
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 19 Number 151
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Proverbs 29:6
“By transgression an evil man is snared, But the righteous sings and rejoices” NKJV
Hello, my name is Pastor Randy Simonson of Harvestime Outreach Church in Hudson, Wisconsin; and this is my Cross Testimony of how Jesus has directed my life for His purposes. I was born in Duluth, Minnesota, and grew up in nearby Hermantown. I was the sixth of eight children. My father was a truck driver and mom stayed home with the children until I was in about 9th grade. She then became a secretary for the Laborer’s Union.
We were not a church family when I was young, but that changed when I was around five. My mom was involved in a car accident where my eight- year- old sister was killed. This was a wake-up call for my mom, and she began to search for answers and met Jesus in the process.
Mom began having Bible studies in our home when I was in high school and one of her friends witnessed to me a lot and invited me to a church. The pastor spoke a prophetic word directly to me and it really caused my interest level in Christianity to begin to bubble over. He read my mail and saw where I was with God and where I could go.
Around that same time, our local garbage man witnessed to me and told me Jesus really loved me. Those three words- “Jesus loves you” — really pierced my heart. Soon after that I was invited to a Billy Graham Crusade in Duluth, Minnesota, and I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
My wife Ann and I were high school sweethearts and married at an early age. We moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I played college football. Ann was brought up in a Christian home, but she really surrendered her life to Jesus around the age of 18. We began attending the Jesus People Church, and we were involved in Bible studies and had a hunger for the things of God.
My mom’s friend who had witnessed to me so many times when I was in high school, came to visit us when we were first married. She stayed overnight with us, and the next morning I was involved in an auto accident in North Minneapolis. I was on my way hunting and I was speeding and running red lights when I was broad-sided in an intersection. The Minneapolis cops were following me and were going to stop me for speeding when the accident occurred. I had a knife on my belt and a shotgun in the back seat and I was driving a big blue Cadillac, in gang infested North Minneapolis. They thought I was a criminal and charged me with a bunch of traffic citations and threw me in jail.
When I was sitting in jail God spoke to me through a song that was popular at that time by Andrea Crouch. I got one line of the song stuck in my head – “I don’t know why Jesus loves me, I don’t know why He cares, I don’t know why He sacrificed His life, but I’m glad that He did.” I could not get the words out of my head and really couldn’t even think of anything else for a long period of time. God really gave me a fresh revelation of His love for me and cemented my relationship with Jesus.
My wife and the woman who stayed with us came and bailed me out of jail later that morning. God used the accident in a powerful way to fully capture my heart. I suspect that the woman who stayed with us had been praying for me, and I teased her about causing a divine accident in my life!
We moved back to Duluth, Minnesota, and I planned on playing football at the University of Minnesota Duluth, but by this time we had a baby girl and I felt I needed to work. I worked as a laborer in Duluth for four years and God led me into Law Enforcement. I went to school in Alexandria, Minnesota, and upon completion of the Law Enforcement program in the fall of 1982, became a Deputy Sheriff in Grant County in western Minnesota. After four years there, I got a job for the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office in Little Falls, Minnesota. I worked there until 2001 when I became a Pastor.
While in Law Enforcement, I went on many mission trips. They opened my eyes to the big picture of what God is doing around the world. There were people groups that needed Jesus and my heart was being groomed for such an effort. Jesus was calling me to do my part for His Kingdom. I said, “I’m a nobody. Who am I that I should be called to this?” But the desire to serve God burned in my heart.
Eventually I attended Bible college and became a licensed minister. My plan was to use the licensing for missions, but God had other plans. In the year 2000, I went on three mission trips to Indonesia, India, and Ukraine. When I got home from the third trip, my wife and I felt the Lord leading us into full-time ministry. We were thinking missions, but God opened a door for us to pastor a church in Hudson, Wisconsin and we have been there ever since.
The passion for missions is still there, and our church has become a very missions minded church. We support and partner with missionaries around the world and we encourage our people to be involved in short- term and long- term missions. Our desire is to be effective witnesses in our community and around the world.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 27:4, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” (NKJV)
To me, the Cross symbolizes our salvation, the cleansing of sin, freedom, and eternal life. We experience the power of God through Jesus’ sacrificial death on a Cross.
When people pass by our church, we want them to see the Cross planted and be reminded that Jesus is alive and that they can find Him here. We want the Cross to be like salt that makes people thirsty and drives them to a relationship with Jesus. To God be all the glory!
Prayer: Father thank you for loving us enough to correct us when we need it and directing us with a fresh revelation for Your Kingdom purposes as needed. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!